Modern life is an attraction between two poles: consumerism and commercialism. World Consumer Rights Day is observed on 15 March of every year. This year(2012) the world comes forward to observe the World Consumer Rights Day with the theme “Our money, our rights: campaigning for real choice in financial services”.
The global consumer movement unites on this day to promote consumer awareness. The global voice for this consumer awareness, called Consumers International (CI), comes forward in the year 2012 with the message that proper choice of commodities is the fundamental right of the consumer.
Modern life between consumerism and commercialism
With today’s economic conditions, modern businesses have become more competitive than ever. Consumers have become more selective than ever. They are struggling in their choice about how and where they can spend their hard earned money. Commercial techniques of the modern world are trying to bait the consumer by their attractive snares. For this reason, consumer awareness has become a more crucial business tool to choose the right commodity or service.
Consumer movement began in the world in 1962. John F Kennedy, the former president of the United States, began this movement on 15 March in 1962 with his call to the world about consumer awareness. He lead the world towards the Consumer Bill of Rights. In his speech to Congress in 1962, President Kennedy presented his FOUR basic consumer rights. He insisted that the consumer movement should serve to protect individuals against malicious commercial practices and keep the marketplace fair. He said, “Consumers by definition, include us all and all should be aware of the duties and rights of a consumer.”
Four Basic rights of a consumer
1) The right of protection
This basic right of protection makes the consumer from the snare of exploitation. The consumer has the right to assure that the products or services he avails are not hazardous to health or to life. On consumer’s side he has the responsibility to assure the safety of the product or service. He has to read the instructions on products or goods. He is supposed to use the products or goods only in the manner intended. They have also the responsibility to dispose products that are harmful to the environment.
2) The right for information
A consumer has the right to get full knowledge of a product or service. He has the right to get the correct information from the commercial producers. The commercial world has the duty to inform the consumers about the pro and contra effects of a product or service so that it may help him decide the right choice. The consumer also has the responsibility of getting factual knowledge about the product.
3) The right of choice
The right of choice is very important in purchasing a product. Lack of information or the complexity of products confuse the consumer and cripples his right of proper choice. For example, consumers around the world today are getting a bad deal from financial services.They are in a way cornered by the commercial snares. The consumer should be able to know about the details and prices of various products and services of the same kind. They should be able to choose the right one, suitable for them.
4) The right of compensation
The right of compensation is very important to make the consumer assured of a better service. The consumers should be able to obtain compensation from the company if their product or service does not meet with the purpose. Products should be accompanied with warranties, which allow the consumer with replacement of the product or refund money.
World Consumer Rights Day 2012 for a better world
Modern man is bombarded with advertisements over the Internet and over the media. The commercial world is focusing only on the profit. The consumer should be made aware of his rights and responsibilities to escape from the devouring snares of the commercial marketing.